Our In Conversation series features bi-monthly  interviews with a wide variety  of activists, change-makers and visionaries

In this Conversation we explore the history of abortion in the United States, a class analyses on abortion and reproductive justice, the ideologies of liberal versus socialist feminisms, the abject failure of the Democratic Party, possible paths forward, and much more.

 

Diana Moreno is an immigrant rights activist and Democratic Socialists of America organizer in Queens, and Jenny Brown is an organizer in the women's liberation movement and the author of several books on feminism, reproductive rights, and labor, including Without Apology: The Abortion Struggle Now and Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women's Work.

 

Both Diana and Jenny approach their feminism with a socialist analysis that provides a strong materialist grounding, a deep understanding of the dynamics around immigration, and an orientation that challenges traditional liberal and oftentimes white, heteronormative feminism that dominates most mainstream discussions.

 

What are the dangers of conflating individual and collective success? Can Black liberation be achieved through individual successes within capitalism — through Black capitalism? Whatt would it mean to truly build Black wealth in the United States and beyond?

 

In today’s Conversation, we’ve brought on someone to help unpack these questions. Francisco Perez is the Executive Director of the Center for Popular Economics and author of the recent piece in Nonprofit Quarterly, “How Do We Build Black Wealth? Understanding the Limits of Black Capitalism.” 

What if what we know about environmental conservation is wrong and it’s not the ethical and regenerative movement we thought it was? Turns out the philosophy and practices of conservation, pioneered by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir, are intimately intertwined with colonialism, imperialism, and racialized capitalism. And unfortunately, this isn’t just a historical analysis, it’s a legacy that has continued well into the movement’s modern day configurations. In fact, things may have even gotten worse.

How is the modern conservation movement still steeped in its racist, colonial, imperial past — and what might an inclusive and regenerative conservation look like? Join us to explore these questions and more with Prakash Kashwan.

Fully automated luxury communism. Fully automated luxury gay space communism..? Fully automated, queer, neo-decadent, meta-modern communism? 

 

Okay so, what does all of that mean? You’ve probably heard the phrase fully automated luxury communism before, whether in a podcast like this, or in a meme maybe, but what exactly does it mean? Maybe the phrase conjures up images of a utopian, moneyless society where all of our jobs have been taken by robots and we just frolic and play all day? Perhaps it evokes ideas of a Starship Enterprise tech utopian world marked by adventures and quests. Maybe it's something in between.

 

Well, in this conversation, we’ve brought on two guests to explain what fully automated luxury communism is, what some different iterations of it might look like, why it's an important Northstar for the left to reach for, and how we might get there.

More than just a region, Silicon Valley has also become, well, a concept. What that concept represents means a lot of different things to different people. Some might think of it as a techno-utopian dreamland where billionaires are made. Others, perhaps a soul-sucking dystopia driven by a never ending rat race — also where billionaires are made!

 

Whatever you may think, one thing that's hard to disagree with is the idea that work dominates Silicon Valley, and while some here are simply working to live, a certain privileged class of society actually lives to work. It's this class of workers that are the main characters in Carolyn Chen’s new book: Work Pray Code: When Work Becomes Religion in Silicon Valley.

The latest IPCC report includes a great deal of research from social scientists, and for the first time, in a major way, debunks much of the economics behind neoliberal climate solutions, even going so far as to name colonialism as a driver for climate change, and even alludes to capitalism as a major contributing factor. To unpack it all, we’ve brought on Amy Westervelt, an award-winning climate journalist, founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, and host of the podcast Drilled. 

 

Is the fossil fuel industry, as they would like us to believe, a demand-driven industry? Or has it really become more of a market looking for a product? Are we getting to a place where mainstream narratives no longer simply call for individual actions, but focus much more heavily on collective and systemic solutions to climate change? And are we finally moving away from seeing global warming as a strictly environmental issue, and instead to seeing it as one more rooted class struggles against systems like capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism? These are some of the topics we explore in this conversation.

More interviews from our In Conversation series